Owen Farrell during a Saracens training session in St Albans ahead of their European Champions Cup clash against Clermont Auvergne. The outhalf is back in the squad after three months out. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Saracens coach Mark McCall has voiced his admiration for French heavyweights Clermont Auvergne ahead of Saturday’s European Champions Cup semi-final s(...)

Ireland Wolfhounds’ Keith Earls is tackled by England Saxons’ Sam Burgess during the match at Musgrave Park in Cork. Photograph: Getty Images

It seems when rather than if he will make it to Stuart Lancaster’s England side. Players have come from league before Sam Burgess but few with the com(...)

 Munster head coach Anthony Foley after the 33-10 Champions Cup defeat to Saracens at Allianz Park.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan / Inpho

A downbeat Anthony Foley could scarcely conceal his acute disappointment over Munster’s emphatic exit from the Champions Cup, thanks to a 33-10 defea(...)

Cian Healy has been training for several weeks but has yet to engage in full-contact rugby. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster and Ireland prop Cian Healy will find out today whether he is ready to resume contact and scrum work.Healy, who has been training for severa(...)

Owen Farrell  is congratulated by his Saracens team-mates after going over for a try during the European Rugby Champions Cup match against Sale Sharks  at the AJ Bell Stadium  in Salford. Photograph: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Champions Cup round-upPOOL 5 - Ospreys 19 Racing Metro 19Centre Josh Matavesi scored a try five minutes from time to keep alive Ospreys’ European Cham(...)

Jerry Flannery is enjoying being back at Munster. ‘I’m only in the door and I’m lucky that I trust the guys around me so much because I know them so well,’ he says. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Jerry Flannery loved being a player. Best job in the world. At 36 he could still be doing it but for the calf injuries that eventually forced him to r(...)

David Gannon is one of a number of Irish natives expected to play for US Eagles. Photograph: Inpho.

Some wild geese may not be returning. There is a gaggle of them playing rugby on the American collegiate circuit and former Blackrock outhalf (someti(...)

 Pau’s new signing James Coughlan: “We both kind of said ‘if we don’t go now, we’ll never go’.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

The IRFU have succeeded where their Welsh, Scottish and Italian counterparts have largely failed in keeping all their front-line players at home. Even(...)

Ulster look likely to name their former scrumhalf Neil Doak as head coach on a full-time basis.Photograph: Inpho

Neil Doak has emerged as the strong favourite to succeed Mark Anscombe as Ulster head coach, with the province expected to make an announcement in (...)

Former Ireland and Ulster hooker Allen Clarke will coach the forwards at his former province this season. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Former Ireland and Ulster hooker Allen Clarke has been confirmed as the province’s new forwards coach for the coming season. Clarke won eight internat(...)